Holiday message: Spirit of giving

FEATURE – St. George News invited members of the St. George Interfaith Council, who represent various denominations and faiths in the community, to share holiday messages with our readers to be posted throughout Christmas Day.

The following holiday message was submitted by Carmella Fitzpatrick, president of the Unity Center of Positive Living.

Christmas to me is about giving. I think this was what Paul was talking about when he said, “God loves a cheerful giver.”

I must say in my younger days I used to find every opportunity I could to give gifts … Birthdays, Easter Baskets, and now that I am a leader of Unity Center I even give Gift Cards for those who attend our meetings that are fathers or mothers on Father’s Day and Mother’s Day.

People are more accepting of gifts from a child, but as I got older people would ask, “What’s the Catch?” Or if it was a member of the opposite sex, “Do you LIKE me or something?” I had no catch. I was asked: “How can you afford to keep doing this?”

I thought “how silly,” for God provides all our needs.

So I stopped giving on birthdays, and stuck more with Easter and Christmas.

There was a time I went to give a Christmas stocking “I won” to a person I knew was in the hospital on Christmas Eve. When I was given instructions on how to get to his room, the nurse had purposely directed me through the children’s ward.

They saw I had a stocking, and hoped it to be for them. I was heartbroken, and told the recipient of the stocking what happened, and suggested he give some of his stocking gifts to the children. I found out later he did, and how happy that made him and the children.

As a reaction of that event I asked the hospital if I could give gifts for any children that may be in the hospital the following Christmas. Turned out the following year there were babies in the intensive care unit. (And I want you to know you have to get clearance on these things.) So I brought soft hand puppets on Christmas Eve to weary, and worried parents, and encouraged them to be positive by pretending to play with their babes with the puppets, and not to worry  because they’re babies will hear, and feel them playing with them, and actually need to feel that love in that way. I heard that brought wonderful results!

It takes one candle to light the darkness. So my suggestion is get creative, and have fun in sharing that light within you, even if you have to plan ahead.

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